In TRUE CRIME, based on Andrew Klavan's novel, Clint Eastwood plays Steve Everett, a capable reporter who's nearly destroyed his career with alcohol and philandering. When he's assigned to do a human interest sidebar on Frank Beechum (Isaiah Washington), who's about to be executed for murder, Everett casually looks into the crime and quickly begins to see how shaky the evidence against Beechum is. As a director, Eastwood is a confident old hand here, and before he builds up the suspense (and don't worry, he will), he takes the time to delve deep into the lives of his characters and explore the sharp contrast between the cynical Everett, who neglects his family for his job, and the circumspect Beechum, whose greatest torment is not the proximity of his own death but the trauma he's causing his loving wife and daughter. Eastwood gives a wonderfully rich performance, and his rapport with James Woods and Denis Leary, as his newspaper bosses, gives the movie a welcome comic jolt. But the scenes of Beechum's family dealing with his fate are where the movie's overwhelming power lies. Eastwood and his screenwriters pull no punches, and it's difficult to bear witness to the painful, simple truth expressed in these scenes.